July 8, 2021

Olympic Gold Medalist Brianna McNeal Says Abortion Trauma Caused her to Miss Drug Test

2016 100-meter hurdles Olympic champion Brianna McNeal (right)
Brianna McNeal, who won the Olympic gold medal for the 100-meter hurdles in 2016, has been suspended from competing for five years by World Athletics. According to a New York Times report, McNeal is being penalized for missing a mandatory drug test two days after having an abortion in January 2020.

The report says that McNeal had an abortion because she thought her pregnancy might prevent her from competing in the 2020 Olympic games. After her baby was aborted, however, she mourned the child's death. This was especially true after the 2020 games were canceled since that meant her child was aborted for no reason.

McNeal says that when the drug tester came to her house on January 12, 2020, she was in bed recovering from the abortion. She originally did not tell officials that she had an abortion. Instead, she said that she had a "surprise medical procedure" and got a note from the abortion facility to excuse the missed test.

World Athletics banned McNeal because she edited the date on the note given to her by the abortion clinic. Her abortion occurred on Jan. 10, but she changed the date on the note to read Jan. 11. McNeal says that she changed the date because she believed the clinic got it wrong. She says that the trauma of her abortion caused her to misremember the date.

"I tried to keep the abortion private, but they just kept tugging and tugging at me, wanting more information," McNeal said. "I couldn’t believe that I was charged with a violation because I had the dates mixed up by just 24 hours. It’s not like the procedure didn’t happen."

McNeal also said that World Athletics did not believe her when she told them she was traumatized by her abortion; claiming that her continued posts on social media, the fact that she continued competing after the procedure, and the fact that she did not contact a psychiatrist prove otherwise. McNeal says that she sought help from a spiritual advisor instead. “For me, growing up in the Black community, that’s how we cope with everything,” she said. “We go to church, and we talk to our pastor or spiritual advisor.”